By Enrico Giuseppe Ferro, past president of the Yale University Rotaract Club, New Haven, USA, winner of the 2013 “Rotaract Outstanding Project Award for the USA, Canada and Caribbean Districts”
In 2009, I took part in a Rotary Youth Exchange to Canandaigua, New York, USA, which taught me many things about teamwork.
I worked side by side with Rotarians and other exchange students to develop strategies to enhance our service efforts. We held themed-cuisine nights where we cooked and sold food native to our home countries to raise money for projects and shared ideas on how to promote each other’s good works. I realized how through Rotary I could work with people from many different perspectives to tackle urgent problems in our communities.
As a member of the Interact club of Cagliaria, Italy, I had previously experienced the benefits of teaming up with Rotaractors and Rotarians to work on a common goal. This teamwork again proved essential as my Rotaract club based at Yale University rolled out a project for a vocational training center to benefit the people of Baste, a rural village nearby Mumbai, India.
Our center, supported by a $40,000 global grant from the Rotary Foundation, offers courses in welding, sewing, mechanics, and medical training for paramedics. Participants gain practical skills that help them secure jobs that could earn them $80-100 a month.
In January 2013, I visited the project site with other members of my club and worked with the paramedics we were training to teach hygiene to villagers in Baste. I felt an overwhelming sense of reward as I witnessed the tangible results of our project. I realized how, through Rotary, we were giving this community the tools they needed to better their lives and gain economic independence.
One of the really great things about Rotary is how it brings together people of all ages and backgrounds to tackle problems from a fresh perspective. On Tuesday, 24 September, I will be joining with others in a free webinar, “Lifecycle of a Service Project (Part 1)” where we will discuss real examples of how we have accomplished this through sustainable projects.
This, the first of a five-part series, will provide a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about the different lifecycles of a service project, from planning and locating resources to promoting the project and evaluating its impact.
I hope you will join me by registering today!